Electronic health records (EHRs) are a digital and portable version of a patient’s health records. System benefits to patients include encouraging timely preventative care, improving care coordination, personalizing treatment plans, and enhancing clinical data accessibility for patients. On the provider side, benefits translate to higher patient satisfaction rates, improved outcomes, and reduced healthcare costs. In this article, we dive deeper into the benefits of EHRs for patients and how they lead to more personalized treatment solutions.
How Does the EHR Benefit the Patient?
One of the benefits of moving from paper-based records to EHRs is patients’ access to their health records. Patients now can view information such as their lab test results, doctor’s notes, and treatments provided on demand.
Easy accessibility to patient data allows patients to play an active role in their healthcare, empowering them to have an active role in making informed decisions about their health. Patients can also engage in online and mobile applications that allow them to monitor their health, nutrition, fitness, and medical appointments.
Seamless Access to Medical Records and Insights
With all the advancements in health information technology, patients no longer have to carry physical copies of their records between providers and facilities. Electronic health records are not just a convenience but are also vital in emergencies because medical professionals can access a patient’s medical history and test results instantly, leading to faster diagnosis and safer treatment.
The availability of real-time medical information also enables patients to communicate more effectively with their healthcare providers. With ready access to medical history and test results, patients can give more accurate information to each doctor. Providers, on the other hand, can make more informed decisions when it comes to treatment and improve patient care when they have a complete view of a patient’s medical history.
Informed Decision-Making and Engagement
Patients who are informed tend to have better health outcomes. Instead of leaning solely on the guidance of healthcare professionals to manage their care, patients can take the lead on their own health outcomes. It has been found that they are more likely to adhere to prescribed treatment plans, better manage their conditions, and achieve better overall health.
Patients involved in their care are also less likely to engage in risky behaviors that could potentially exacerbate their conditions. Overall, access to comprehensive medical information has the potential to positively impact patient health outcomes.
Elevating Patient Care Coordination
Elevating patient care coordination and sharing information between providers is conducive to improving patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and improving user satisfaction. While achieving this goal requires a concerted effort, among both acute care and long-term care providers, the shared benefits of doing so are well worth it.
Streamlined Communication Among Healthcare Providers
When all providers that have access to the same information are working towards the same goals, there is less room for medical error, confusion, and miscommunication. In fact, patients who receive coordinated care are less likely to experience adverse events, readmissions, and unnecessary testing or treatments.
Tailored Treatment Plans
EHRs allow for comprehensive and detailed documentation of a patient’s medical history, including treatments, diagnoses, allergies, and lab results. With this information, doctors can create personalized treatment strategies to address the individual needs of their patients.
Using EHR Data to Facilitate Preventative Care
Through the power of digital recordkeeping and automation, EHRs help providers identify patterns of illness that may go undetected through traditional means. When providers have a complete picture of a patient’s medical history, they can accurately identify potential health risks quickly. With this information, providers can suggest preventative measures such as lifestyle changes, specific screening tests, or routine check-ups.
Another innovative way EHRs enable medical professionals to analyze patient data on a population level, is allowing them to identify patterns and trends in patient health. This data can be used to develop targeted interventions and strategies to improve health outcomes across the patient population. For example, doctors can use EHR data to identify patients who are at risk of developing chronic conditions and automatically implement early intervention strategies that help prevent the onset of those conditions.
Finally, the widespread use of EHRs in healthcare systems results in significant cost savings. For example, the integration of EHRs reduces errors in record-keeping, decreases readmission rates, and promotes a greater level of coordinated care among healthcare providers. These factors — combined with the ability to streamline administrative tasks — have led to significant savings while also improving patient outcomes.
Overcoming Challenges and Ensuring EHR Privacy
Data security is essential in the healthcare industry. Most systems have encryption and other security protocols designed to safeguard data. By taking steps such as disabling unnecessary features, ensuring unique login credentials, and setting up appropriate access controls, you can ensure data is safe without compromising usability. Experienced EHR consultants — like those at Medical Advantage — can help ensure that these protocols are implemented correctly during implementation.
In addition, the EHR system should be set up in a way that guarantees confidentiality to the patient. Healthcare providers can achieve this by ensuring that access to the EHR is restricted based on the staff’s roles and responsibilities to ensure patient data only ends up in the right hands.
Summary: Benefits of EHRs for Patients
EHRs benefit patients by encouraging preventative care, streamlining medical data, improving care coordination, personalizing treatment plans, and enhancing data accessibility. These benefits translate to higher patient satisfaction rates, improved outcomes, and reduced healthcare costs. Due to the many advantages of EHRs, patients who benefit most often report being more satisfied with their care, overall health, and medical experiences. Through EHR innovation, both patients and providers have a more favorable healthcare environment.
Reap the Benefits of Electronic Health Records with Expert Consulting from Medical Advantage
With over 20 years of industry experience, our consultants have worked with hundreds of EHRs, in nearly every healthcare environment. Our mission is to simplify the delivery of efficient, high-quality healthcare. Reach out to learn more about how we can help your organization transform patient care.
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